Tag: Xavier Nady

Report: Kansas City Royals Sign Veteran Free-Agent Xavier Nady

The Kansas City Royals continued their offseason shopping spree with a minor move yesterday, picking up free-agent outfielder/first baseman Xavier Nady on a minor league deal. The signing was reported by MLB.com’s Dick Kaegel.

Bringing in Nady may not be a move of the same magnitude as the team’s trade for pitchers James Shields and Wade Davis, but acquiring the right-handed-hitting veteran could be a valuable move.

Nady has played for eight different teams in an 11-year major league career. The 34-year-old has career totals of a .270 batting average with 101 home runs and 406 RBI. His best individual season came in 2008, when he hit .305 with 25 home runs and 97 RBI with the Pittsburgh Pirates and New York Yankees.

Injuries have sidetracked Nady in recent seasons.

He has averaged just 67 games per season since 2009. That year he underwent his second Tommy John surgery (his first was in 2001) and has been unable to fully regain his health or effectiveness since.

Nady played 59 games this past season with the Washington Nationals and San Francisco Giants. He hit a combined .184 with four home runs and 13 RBI.

According to Kaegel, Royals’ assistant GM J.J. Picollo said he isn’t going to just hand Nady a job, but likes what he can potentially bring to the team:

It gives us depth going into spring training if we have any type of injuries or need. He’s a guy that in the past has swung the bat well, but he’s fallen on some hard times with some injuries or whatnot, but we thought it was an interesting guy to bring in and add a veteran presence and insurance.

The Royals must have insurance at first base and the corner outfield spots because of lingering concerns from last season. According to FanGraphs.com, right fielder Jeff Francoeur (-1.2) and first baseman Eric Hosmer (-1.1) posted baseball’s third and fourth worst oWAR marks in 2012. Those two may very well bounce back, but if the Royals intend to make a playoff run, they have to be prepared for any scenario.

For now, it sounds like Nady can earn a bench spot on the team by having a hot spring.

Picollo told Kaegel that his power is something that could fit in well on the team’s bench:

He’s right-handed which we lack a little bit. If he has a good spring training, it’s not out of the question we’ll have a veteran bat on the bench. He’s got some pop, which is something we don’t have right now coming off the bench.

With every move the Royals make this offseason, they hope to get closer to contending status. If Nady can prove he is healthy and has something left, it could be a valuable addition for Kansas City and a win-win deal for everyone involved. 

Statistics via BaseballReference

Read more MLB news on BleacherReport.com

Can Xavier Nady Help the San Francisco Giants Win the National League West?

Nearly a decade after struggling to get consistent playing time as a young player for the San Diego Padres under manager Bruce Bochy, it’s come full circle for Xavier Nady.

On Friday, the Giants announced that the 33-year-old Nady would be one of their September call-ups. According to Bochy, via Andrew Baggarly of CSN Bay Area, Nady may get an opportunity to play more than just part-time against lefties in left field.

There’s no question that the Giants desperately need help in left field. Gregor Blanco has been getting most of the starts in place of Melky Cabrera, who was suspended for the remainder of the season due to a failed drug test. Blanco has been mired in a deep slump, hitting just .205/.330/.250 since the All-Star break, and just .224/.328/.245 during August.

Justin Christian went 0-for-11 with a walk while platooning with Blanco before he went on the disabled list. Francisco Peguero has gone 0-for-7 since being recalled from Fresno to replace Christian. He put up a tepid .297 on-base percentage in the hitter-friendly Pacific Coast League, so expectations for Peguero were non-existent to begin with.

As for Nady, well, he was never more than an average player during the prime of his career before breaking out during the first half of 2008 when he hit .330/.383/.535 for the Pirates, earning a midseason trade to the Yankees.

He missed almost the entirety of the 2009 season due to injury and has hit just .237/.285/.342 over the last three years, including a .157/.211/.275 showing in Washington that earned him his release earlier this season.

In 99 plate appearances at Fresno, Nady hit .270/.343/.528. Given Blanco’s struggles, attempting to catch lightning in a bottle with Nady, as the Giants did with the presumed washed-up Pat Burrell in 2010, might not be the worst idea in the world.

Then again, when the Giants took a chance on Burrell in 2010, they were getting a player who had a much better track record than Nady does now—and a player that had been very good only two seasons prior to the Giants picking him up, as compared to the four seasons that have passed since Nady last produced.

With one month left in the season and a five-game lead in the loss column over the Dodgers, any incremental improvement is worth a try, no matter how long the odds may seem.

As bad as Blanco, Christian and Peguero have looked with the bats, giving Nady an audition can’t really hurt the offense. However, Nady is nowhere near the defender that Blanco is in the outfield. If Nady is going to help the Giants win the West, he’s going to have to hit like he did back in the summer of 2008.

If not, the Giants may be better off sticking with Blanco in the end, because he can at least prevent runs with his range. The Giants won’t be the worse for wear by giving Nady a look, but if he doesn’t produce with the bat immediately, a short hook is essential.

Read more MLB news on BleacherReport.com

Chicago Cubs: Fontenot to Giants a Sign of Things to Come?


The Giants and Cubs had a little unfinished business to attend to before they matched up Wednesday night in San Francisco. With the owner’s meetings getting underway in Minneapolis, Jim Hendry and Brian Sabean completed a trade that they reportedly began talking about as the trade deadline was approaching.

Mike Fontenot was sent from the visiting clubhouse to the home clubhouse in exchange for 22-year-old outfield prospect Evan Crawford. In a corresponding roster move, the Cubs called up 24-year-old middle infielder Darwin Barney from Triple-A Iowa.

But what does this mean for the North Siders going forward?

To begin with, it appears that the youth movement is in full effect. Between this trade and the one that sent Ted Lilly and Ryan Theriot to Los Angeles before the non-waiver trade deadline, the Cubs basically replaced three players aged 34, 30, and 30 (Lilly, Theriot, and Fontenot) with another three aged 27, 24, and 24 (Thomas Diamond, Blake DeWitt, and Barney).

It also reduced the cost of this roster.

Lilly was heading into free agency, Theriot into his second year of arbitration, and Fontenot into his first year of arbitration following his Super Two status last off-season. Meanwhile, DeWitt will not hit arbitration for another year and Diamond and Barney are three years away from that milestone at the very least.

It might also mean that the Cubs are set up the middle of their infield for the next few years.

Starlin Castro has six years of team control remaining and a seemingly bright future with both the glove and the bat; Barney has a glove that should keep him in at least a defensive substitution role for those same six years of team control; and DeWitt should be able to provide solid enough offense and defense to hold down the keystone while he plays out his four years of team control.

While many Cubs fans will be waiting for Hak-Ju Lee or one of the many other middle infield prospects to develop and burst onto the scene, those three may very well be able to do the job. If nothing else, the lack of large salaries gives enough flexibility to make additions to the position group down the road.

The most important takeaway for this season, though, is this: the Cubs didn’t stop looking for trade partners when the non-waiver trade deadline passed. There may very well be more moves to come.

So who might be on their way out before September 1st?

Since Derrek Lee already rejected a trade to the Angels and Carlos Silva landed on the disabled list with heart troubles, I am hard-pressed to believe that either of them will be going anywhere this season.

In my mind, that leaves only three names that are likely to find their way onto the backs of new jerseys: Xavier Nady, Kosuke Fukudome, and Jeff Baker.

Nady was originally a part of the negotiations that just sent Fontenot to San Francisco and also drew interest from the Rangers earlier in the year. With about one million dollars left on his contract this season, he might get picked up by a contending team looking for a first baseman or designated hitter down the stretch.

The Angels lost out on Lee, so maybe they would be interested in the cheaper (both in terms of money and players sent in exchange) option from the same team. Although it’s purely speculation on my part, I believe they might have interest in the Salinas native.

Fukudome is on the block mainly because of his prohibitive contract. He offers a level of defense, patience, and occasional power that would be much more attractive if he weren’t making more than 3.5 million for the remainder of this season and 13.5 million in 2011.

Those dollar amounts mean that he is a likely candidate to clear Trade Assignment Waivers and open up negotiations with anyone who’s biting, but his no-trade clause makes any such move slightly more difficult. It isn’t because he wouldn’t approve a trade right now, but because (as I’ve said before) part of a player’s value is how easily you can get rid of him.

Because he only has one year remaining on his contract and does provide the defense, patience, and occasional power that he has shown in the past, there is no reason that the Cubs should be leveraged into eating too much of his contract or getting next to nothing in return. He can still be a valuable backup outfielder for this team if the negotiating parties fail to realize that fact.

Baker, on the other hand, might be the least likely of the three to get moved. The reasoning for that is fairly simple in my mind: he hasn’t hit consistently well in his major league career and doesn’t provide enough in the way of defense to inflate his value much.

He has some versatility in the infield and at the outfield corners, which helps, and is still under team control for three more years, which also helps, but I’m not sure that’s enough to draw serious interest.

Still, it wouldn’t surprise me (and shouldn’t surprise anyone else, in my opinion) if a few more trades are made in the next few weeks. In return, look for prospects or young major leaguers instead of established veterans.

This season may be all but over, but a solid foundation is being built for the future. Just wait and see.

Read more MLB news on BleacherReport.com

MLB Trade Rumors: Texas Rangers Aren’t Done Dealing

The Texas Rangers made, arguably, one of the biggest trades in franchise history for a guy that was called the “biggest impact pitcher” since Nolan Ryan wore a Rangers’ uniform.

Rangers’ general manager Jon Daniels decided that first baseman Justin Smoak was expendable, and was able to sneak in under the radar and bring Cliff Lee to the Rangers.

But, just when it seemed like the Rangers could be done dealing, there are rumors and rumblings to the contrary.

While Chris Davis will be their starting first baseman of the future, at least for now, it wouldn’t hurt for Daniels to go out and land another player that could spell Davis at first and not lose much offensively.

If you’re asking for my opinion, the Rangers’ bullpen still needs a lot of work, as does their rotation.

Sure Neftali Feliz gives the team a lockdown closer, Darren Oliver and Darren O’Day have had better than expected years, but besides that they don’t have another pitcher that makes teams fear the late innings.

So, here are my list of players that the Rangers should look at as well as explaining what they would bring to the team. The team isn’t done dealing, they still have moves to be made, these are just a few players they should or could look at.

Begin Slideshow

MLB Trade Rumors: 10 Potential Trade Targets for the San Diego Padres

With the trade deadline less then a month away, the San Diego Padres are looking at all of their options and weighing which ones will help the team keep a hold of the NL West division.

There are a few players the Padres have been rumored to be after and a few scenarios that might make sense.

However, knowing the team has the second lowest payroll in all of baseball, you’d think that new owner Jeff Moorad would give general manager Jed Hoyer some room to maneuver and make a deal here and there.

While Moorad has said the Padres may spend money to bring in what they need, they also need to be cognizant of other teams looking to scavenge from the depth of San Diego’s talented pitching staff.

Among those names is closer Heath Bell. Don’t be surprised if he’s the center of a deal come the trade deadline.

Here are some of the other possible scenarios as the month of July winds down.

Begin Slideshow

Chicago Cubs: Turning It All Around, Part I (Corner Infield)

The Cubs are 9.5 games out of first place in the National League Central as of Tuesday morning. That’s good for fourth place in the division behind the Reds, Cardinals, and Brewers.

One of the more concerning things about that picture is that the Brewers, who are considered by many to be out of contention altogether at this point, have inched their way past the Cubs. Yes, the difference between the two teams is only one game, but it’s simply one more sign that this season needs to turn around fast if the Cubs are going to have a shot at making the playoffs.

I’m not waving the white flag on this team right now, but it’s probably time to start focusing more on the organization’s long-term future than it’s playoff aspirations.

That’s not to say that moves can’t be made to help the Cubs’ 2010 iteration, but anything done needs to be at least as helpful, if not more, for the next few seasons as it is for the here and now.

Fortunately, the Cubs may have a bright future lurking. They just need to figure out how to get from where they are now to where they could be.


First Things First

The Cubs organization has four first basemen with major league experience: Derrek Lee, Xavier Nady, Micah Hoffpauir, and Bryan LaHair.

Lee’s lower-than-usual production has been well-covered; Nady has had a few good stretches, but hasn’t been setting the world on fire; Hoffpauir has been drawing his walks and hitting for some power in Triple-A Iowa, but is dragging a bit with a .239 batting average; and LaHair has maintained some power with a decent walk rate and batting average as Hoffpauir’s teammate.

LaHair is the youngest of the bunch at 27, Hoffpauir is 30, Nady is 31, and Lee is 34. Lee and Nady have expiring contracts, Hoffpauir will be out of options, and LaHair will most likely have a minor league contract if he returns.

Although someone currently playing another position may end up at first a few years down the road, there are no sure-fire major leaguers developing in the minor leagues.

Free agents might be an option with guys like Paul Konerko, Carlos Pena, Adam Dunn, Lance Berkman, Lyle Overbay, and Mike Lowell potentially hitting the market. Guys like Michael Cuddyer and Brad Hawpe might even be able to switch over full-time.


Derrek’s Future

Whatever the case, if Derrek Lee isn’t going to be coming back next season, it might very well be in the club’s best interest to trade the aging first baseman.

He has secured Type B status for the upcoming offseason and may be on the verge of reaching Type A status, both of which would land the Cubs compensation in next year’s draft if he were to be offered and refuse arbitration, but there is absolutely no guarantee that he wouldn’t accept it.

If he did, the Cubs would be stuck with Lee and whichever one-year contract (the Cubs’ offer or Lee’s) an arbitrator deemed acceptable.

If the risk that lies in offering him arbitration outweighs the potential reward, then it would be better for the organization to get something via a trade before the deadline than to get nothing by letting him walk into free agency without any strings.



That would immediately make Nady the starting first baseman this year and open up a roster spot for either Brad Snyder, who is boasting a .293/.374/.527 slash line in Triple-A Iowa this season, or Sam Fuld, who’s getting on base at a decent rate despite not hitting for much in the way of average or power, in the outfield.

Although either player would likely see minimal playing time on the big league squad, they are old enough (both are 28) that development is less of a concern than their potential impact right now.

And both players could have a positive impact on this team: Snyder as a bat off the bench and decent defender or Fuld as a defensive replacement and speed threat.

Since Nady probably won’t demand too much money as a free agent this offseason, he might be an option to keep around as the starting first baseman for the next few years.

Assuming that his arm is back to normal by next year, if LaHair or Hoffpauir emerge as a legitimate starter at first base, Nady could still move back to the outfield.


Another Option

On the other hand, Aramis Ramirez isn’t the same defensive third baseman he used to be and he will almost certainly exercise his 2011 option. He could move over to first base, allowing Mike Fontenot and/or Jeff Baker to get more playing time over at third.

If that path seems likely and the Cubs are securely out of contention before the trading deadline, then the they could afford to also part ways with Nady and let either LaHair or Hoffpauir finish out the season.

Josh Vitters, who has been at Double-A Tennessee since May 7, would then be able to step in when he’s ready (whether that be late 2011, 2012, or beyond) with Ramirez’s transition already taken care of and a starting spot readily available.

Otherwise, should Vitters be ready in late 2011, he would most likely be hung up in Triple-A or be forcing a veteran to the bench—an unenviable position for a young player, to say the least.

Barring a breakout season from Vitters next year, that scenario is unlikely to happen. After all, the Cubs’ third-best prospect this year according to Baseball America will only be 21 years old.

But in the event that it does happen, it would be better to not be handcuffed.


Of course, shoring up two positions doesn’t create a winning ballclub.

Fortunately, the Cubs farm system has been replenished with talent in recent years and, despite the criticisms of many, this roster will have the flexibility to make things happen before too long.

It might take some creativity due to unforeseen circumstances and complications that have popped up since the signing of some of the organization’s cornerstones, but it is completely possible.

Keep an eye out for the next part of this series, coming soon, that will delve deeper into what the future may hold for the North Siders.

Read more MLB news on BleacherReport.com

Chicago Cubs’ Potential Trade Chips

On Wednesday, Carrie Muskat wrote an article in which she said that “There are no deals pending, no scouts scouring other rosters to find help.”

It wasn’t a quote from Jim Hendry. It was just a line added into the article between quotes from the Cubs’ general manager.

More specifically, it came immediately before the following quote from Hendry:

“There really isn’t anywhere to look,” Hendry said. “I would think our position players are not a weakness at all. We’re just in one of these funks where we can’t get over the hump and get runs in. It’s not for lack of talent or lack of these guys working.”

Obviously, Hendry is simply saying that there’s no reason to look for offensive help in the trade market. At no point does he say anything about trading for pitching, most notably bullpen help.

Unless Carrie was holding back other comments from Hendry which did state that the team isn’t currently looking for bullpen help, her addition to the article is a bit misleading.

Most people seem to be under the impression that Carlos Zambrano’s move to a setup role is temporary, including “Big Z” himself.

After Friday’s game, I’m sure many people are hoping that his time in the bullpen is drawing near an end, including Zambrano once again.

If they aren’t looking for trade partners, then they aren’t doing their jobs. For the sake of my own sanity, I’m just going to assume that they are.

In that light, they obviously need to have in mind which players they are willing to trade away. I’m not going to claim to know who the Cubs have on their provisional list of potential trade chips, but I do have my own ideas.

Those ideas do not include Aramis Ramirez or Alfonso Soriano.

While others were writing why Soriano should get traded, ESPN’s Jayson Stark was doing a poll of who MLB executives thought had the most untradable contracts. The Cubs’ outfielder was first on the list .

And after Aramis Ramirez’s name started to emerge in hypothetical trades, I jumped in with why such a trade is highly unlikely.

Although he wasn’t listed in Stark’s aforementioned article, Zambrano’s critics should realize that he’s probably in a similar boat to Soriano.

So who does that leave?


The Veterans

Because of their expiring contracts, Derrek Lee and Ted Lilly could eventually be available as late-season rentals for a contending team. That, of course, would require that the Cubs were out of contention early enough for a deal to be made.

It also means neither player would be involved in a trade for immediate bullpen help unless Hendry’s search continues deep into the season. It’s much more likely that a trade of either player would resemble Hendry’s trade of Mark DeRosa before last season that yielded three prospects from the Indians.

Another possible trade chip with an expiring contract is Xavier Nady, who I believe is available as soon as another team mentions his name in negotiations.

With Soriano, Marlon Byrd, and Kosuke Fukudome all producing, the offensively struggling Nady is just taking away playing time from Tyler Colvin and being a defensive liability with his still-recovering throwing arm. He’s still a promising hitter, but he would be much more valuable with an American League team that he could DH for.

Sam Fuld is a very good defensive outfielder and hitting well in limited action at Triple-A Iowa, so he could potentially be the perfect fifth outfielder for the Cubs after moving Nady.

Back in early April, Fukudome’s name was actually being thrown around in trade talks with the Nationals.

I’ll admit that it’s a possibility, but I’d say that it’s 50-50 at best.

With his well-known trend of early-season success and late-season slumping, the numbers that he’s put up so far probably won’t increase his value very much. The Cubs would most likely have to eat part of the remaining salary for this season and part of the 13.5 million he’s due in 2011, but might still be able to get something of value in return from a team that values defense.


The Backup Infielders

Then there’s Mike Fontenot and Jeff Baker. One of them will most likely be in different uniform by season’s end.

Fontenot might fetch more in return since he has been better offensively this season and can play shortstop in a pinch, but Baker might be the one that the Cubs are more willing to part with for the very same reasons.

With Chad Tracy tearing up Triple-A, it wouldn’t surprise me if either of the second basemen were traded by the time I woke up in the morning. If Starlin Castro starts smoothing out his game in the big leagues or Darwin Barney picks up at the plate in Iowa, the clock on that trade will be accelerated.

On the other hand, Chad Tracy might end up on the trading block himself.

His being the odd man out when Castro was called up might be indicative of his status with the team and could offer other teams an alternative to Hank Blalock, who might or might not be moved by the Tampa Bay Rays in the coming days.

Trading Tracy would also slow down any trade talks involving Baker or Fontenot, but by no means indicates that both players are staying.


The Pitchers

Now we’re only left with three players: Tom Gorzelanny, Carlos Silva, and John Grabow.

Honestly, I will be shocked if both Gorzelanny and Silva are with the Cubs on August 1 for the simple fact that Zambrano needs a spot in the rotation to return to. Also, as shown by Zambrano’s move to a setup role, neither pitcher is much of a candidate for a spot in the bullpen.

In fact, going one step further, I’ll be a little surprised if either pitcher is a Cub on August 1.

Both Andrew Cashner and Jay Jackson are doing very well in the minor leagues and should be pushing for some starts with the big league club before too long. Casey Coleman might even get a look if he pitches well for the next few months, although I think it’s much more likely that he will stay in Triple-A for the duration of the season.

Gorzelanny offers the most upside of the two players and, in my mind, is the piece that is most likely to land the Cubs a setup man.

Silva would need to stay healthy and productive, but he could get moved as soon as the Cubs decide to call up Cashner.

Grabow, the Cubs veteran left-hander in the bullpen, is much less likely to go than the other two to be moved during the season. There aren’t too many teams that have three lefties in the ‘pen and the Cubs could use every advantage that they have.

Still, if the Cubs have enough confidence in Sean Marshall and James Russell going forward, Grabow could end up on the trading block. Jim Hendry just has to decide if he’s wants to free up the $3.75 million that the former Pirate is due next season.

No matter who the Cubs feel willing to move that’s currently on the roster, I can guarantee you one thing: they are going to make a trade at some point.

I don’t know if it will be sooner or later, but the faces of this team will be at least a little bit different by season’s end.

Hopefully a key difference in those faces will be the exuberance of victory and not the sagging look of disappointment.

Read more MLB news on BleacherReport.com

Copyright © 1996-2010 Kuzul. All rights reserved.
iDream theme by Templates Next | Powered by WordPress